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and The Freshman Experience
By Drew Brown, Scene Editor
want their imaginations engaged and trained," said English professor
David Seal, summing up what he wants his freshman students to get
from his writing course called "Dreams."
David Seal discusses dream images with his freshman class.
and faith are complemented by active imaginations," Seal said.
"It's good that first-year students begin to understand that,
and begin by seeing the power of the imagination in their own psyches."
is a Freshman Writing Seminar-one of three courses required as
part of The Freshman Experience, a program that prepares students
for life in college and beyond. The Freshman Experience classes
focus on a variety of questions: How can you get off to the best
start in college? How do we cope with the emotional and physical
realities of life? How can you learn to best balance a professional
life based on a lifetime of service? The main question asked in
Seal's class is: What do dreams and images mean, and how can I
use them to power my creative and intellectual imagination?
a lively class, one that moves into unexpected areas at times, because
that keeps the students interested and intrigued," Seal said.
The key to PLU's program is to prepare students for the four-year
journey that will have them learning and thinking critically, serving
as active participants in the community, traveling abroad to study,
putting their skills to practical use in internships, and summing
up their learning in senior Capstone projects.
In Critical Conversation seminars, students learn through leading
a group discussion, making formal and individual presentations and
engaging in public debates.
courses, students work closely with their peers on a specific topic-some
take "hands on" courses like "January on the Hill."
Seminar component, which Seal's "Dreams" course is a part
of, students learn to think like a writer in various disciplines,
and how to look at issues from multiple perspectives.
we have a lot of fun. We start by listening to dreams and interpreting
them," Seal said. "Gradually, they begin to see how powerful
images are. And, by extension, how important the imagination is
to all of us."